As the floods of God wash away sin city
They say it was written in the page of the Lord
But I was looking for that great jazz note
That destroyed the walls of Jericho
The winds of fear whip away the sickness
The messages on the tablet was valium
As the planets form that golden cross Lord
I'll see you on the holy cross roads
After all this time to believe in Jesus
After all those drugs I thought I was Him
After all my lying and a-crying
And my suffering
I ain't good enough
I ain't clean enough
To be Him
The tribal wars burning up the homeland
The fuel of evil is raining from the sky
The sea of lava flowing down the mountain
The time will sweep us sinners by
Holy rollers roll
Give generously now
Pass the hubcap please
Thank you Lord
~~ “Sound of the Sinners” by The Clash
I often pass a church on my way home from the grocery store or the library and they always have a pithy saying on their sign. I think there is a website where churches get these sayings because I’ve seen other posts with the similar lame sentiments.
My personal favorite is, and always will be, “Stop Drop and Roll Doesn’t Work in Hell.”
Now that is some freakin’ WISDOM right there!
I don’t generally go around getting pissed off at church signs. I usually just roll my eyes and cruise right on by. But last week’s sign caught my eye and it really did piss me off.
It was the saying there in the photo.
I may or may not have flipped the sign off as I drove by. (Okay, I totally flipped off the sign. Double bird, too.)
I find that sentiment completely offensive. I live a full and happy life completely god-free, and I know plenty of others who do, too. Our lives are not pointless. How dare this church or any other church tell me that my life is pointless? (And let’s not even get into the fact that they are comparing me to a pencil. If anything, I’d choose to be a purple Sharpie, okay? Bastards.)
I have adopted a “live and let live” attitude towards others’ religious beliefs. As long as you keep it out of my government and out of our schools and don’t harm your kids or other people, it’s really none of my business. I don’t care. Your religion is your business. I’m cool with that! Just don’t try to convert me, okay? You will only succeed in irritating me and making me not want to be around you. I’m cool with your religion. I expect—indeed, I demand!—that you be cool with my lack of one. See how that works?
Anyway, so why does any church get off on posting such a hostile sign? And yes, I DO think it is hostile. It is saying that MY LIFE IS POINTLESS.
A couple of years ago, I recall seeing a Facebook post from a friend concerning religion and atheists. Another friend commented that they didn’t see how anyone who doesn’t believe in God (their capitalization, not mine) can possibly find any joy in life. I commented that I find joy every day in the things around me. I have a happy life with a husband who is a kind and decent man; I love our cat; I live out in the country in our own little wildlife preserve and I get to see all kinds of birds and other wildlife; I have family and friends who love me; I get to travel and see all kinds of interesting things and meet interesting people. I have so much music to listen to and so many books to read! Joy is everywhere!
Another friend commented, “Beth is one of the happiest people I know.”
The other friend (who didn’t get how anyone without a god could find joy) apologized to me, said that they didn’t know I was an atheist, and then they defriended me.
::sigh:: Okay. I get it. You don’t like having your ideas challenged. That’s fine.
But here is something that people like my former friend, or the church with the stupid sign, need to understand: there are many of us who live productive, meaningful, and very happy lives without relying on any belief in any sort of deity. We enjoy helping others, we have compassion, we want to do good in this world. We do it not because we will reap any reward in some potential afterlife. We do it because we live in the here and now and we want to help in the here and now. It’s not because we want to feel good, although helping others definitely feels good. We do it because it is the right thing to do for our fellow human beings, for our fellow creatures on the planet, AND for our planet!
All that without any sort of god. Kinda crazy, huh?
I won’t be attending your church, you with the nasty sign. I would never say that YOUR life is pointless. I don’t think it’s very nice of you to say that MINE is.
In fact, I think it’s downright un-Christianly.